Making Plans and Following God: Q + A with Bachelor of Business Management Professor Chappell
Melissa Chappell’s career has led her to many unique jobs in and outside of the business world. No matter what she is doing, Chappell prioritizes making a good plan. But more importantly, she believes in following God – even if that means abandoning those plans. This core message, which comes from Proverbs 16:9, is one she readily shares with her students pursuing a degree in business management.
Now a full-time faculty member in the School of Business, Chappell shares about how a bachelor of business management and a passion for education led her to become an assistant professor at Grace.
What did you do in your early career?
I started my higher education at Manchester University and transferred to a few other schools. I was originally an accounting major, but I’ve always loved teaching. I’ve been told I have a knack for explaining things to people, so I switched to education and substitute taught for a couple years.
When I got married and started a family, I decided to stay home with our two kids. During that time, I had a piano studio for a few years where I would teach about 35 students. It was a really good time in our lives. I enjoyed teaching, and I enjoyed my students. At the same time, I was the treasurer and accountant for our local church. The business really grew, though, and I wanted to look for something more structured so I would have more time with my family.
How did you end up with a bachelor of business management?
When I was in my forties, I went back to school to get a bachelor of business management through Grace’s degree completion program. Right after that I got my MBA online at Grace. In 2004, the position of payroll coordinator opened at Grace. I had banking in my background, and I loved accounting, so I applied and was hired.
I was in human resources when I first started, then I went to the business office, then the school of professional and online education, and eventually, I transitioned to the School of Business to serve as director of partnerships. I loved that role because it allowed me to teach, which was my first love. So when the management professor role opened up, I knew I wanted to teach full time.
Which course are you most excited to teach?
I teach Principles of Management, which every business student has to take. I love it because it’s usually freshmen in that course, and sometimes they’re still trying to decide where the best field for them is. I get to see what areas most interest them, and help guide them.
How do you integrate faith in your teaching?
Something I love about management is even if you are not a full time manager with a bachelor in business management, everybody manages something in their life. Whatever position you have, however you’re serving God, whatever you’re doing – you’re managing something. And God’s word is filled with advice about managing your life.
The verse I’m known for is Proverbs 16:9: “The heart of a man plans his ways, but the Lord establishes His steps.” As managers, we’re always planning and scheduling, but God establishes our steps. I always tell my students pursuing a bachelor of business management that if there’s one thing I can teach them it’s this: Be prepared, but also be flexible to where God might lead you.
What do you most appreciate about Grace?
How we engage with our community. Our students are thoroughly involved in the greater Warsaw/Winona Lake community. In fact, I was just in the village the other day and someone said, “Oh, it’s almost time for the students to come back!” and they were so happy about it. There’s such a positive connection between Grace and our community.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I live in the same house that I grew up in here in Warsaw, and I married my next door neighbor. I was 11 and he was 19 when he moved in next door, and I had a crush on him. He went to France to finish college for a couple years, and when he came back, I was all grown up. When we got married, we bought our house from my parents.
What are you most looking forward to about teaching in the School of Business?
Working with the students! I’ve been teaching at Grace for close to ten years, but having teaching be my focus now is awesome. I’m thrilled to not be wearing other hats now; teaching is my focus all the time. I also love working with the other faculty. They’re always encouraging me to do better and learn more. I don’t think I’ve ever been stagnant at Grace. We are a community that does our best, calls each other higher, and listens to where God is calling us.
If you want to be taught by instructors who follow God’s wisdom regarding management, check out our bachelor in business management.
Want to know what’s the difference between business management and business administration? Find out here!